Love bamboo? Stay in John Hardy’s all-bamboo eco-retreat in Bali
What does a renowned Bali-based jeweler to the celebrities do when he’s had enough of designing jewelry? He finds another wonderful material to get his hands on and continues to mesmerize us with his creations. That is John Hardy, famed for his Bali-inspired jewelry. John Hardy has sold his jewelry business and pours his heart for his other passion: BAMBOO. Welcome his first creation, the uber rustic yet cool, Bambu Indah (Beautiful Bamboo) Eco Retreat in Ubud, Bali.
When talking about Bali and its fine craftsman ship, discussion will eventually lead to jewelry. And who could have Bali and jewelry in one sentence without the name John Hardy? Long-time Bali resident Canadian who has been designing jewelry inspired by the natural beauty of Bali and her arts & crafts, for Hollywood Royalty for the past decade. Exquisite pieces that have made their way onto the international fashion catwalks, as well as fine purveyors of luxury goods like Nieman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue, in the US. And although John Hardy has sold his business, he is still promoting Bali to the world, through his passion for Bamboo! His humble abode is now also an eco-rustic hotel, Bambu Indah (Beautiful Bamboo), in Ubud, Bali.
And his latest creation, together with his American-born wife, Cynthia Hardy, conceived Bambu Indah (Beautiful Bamboo) is a compound of 4-villas made of Bamboo. Located just outside of Ubud, Bali’s cultural center in the highlands, the hotel features 4 eco-luxe villas: Afrika, Padi (Rice), Kuning (Yellow), Kuno (Old/Antique). Conceived as a an sustainable resort, with environmentally-friendly building materials (bamboo is considered as the fastest growing building material to replace wood).
This is evident from the minute you walk through the wonderful bamboo structure in the reception area, passing through rice paddies at various stages of growth and the hotel’s natural swimming pool that is constructed using recyclable black rubber membrane.
Bambu Indah’s riverfront compound looks out at the stunning cascades of the Ayung River, terraced rice fields, a Hindu temple called Pura Dalem Gede Bongkasa and, set against a backdrop of volcanoes surrounding Mount Batu Kau.
The villas are crafted from teak, decorated with John Hardy’s own collection of travel trinkets, including Tibetan vegetable-dye carpets, Kalimantan shields and Ethiopian rawhide benches.
Mosquito-netted four-poster beds would benefit from some pillow top fluffing, but each room’s movement-sensitive night lighting is a nice touch. The rustic ambience of the interiors is complemented by other modern add-ons like air-conditioning, wireless Internet access and bathrooms with hand-hammered copper sinks, plush towels and open-air rainfall showers.
Guests are given a two-page food questionnaire to help personalize menus. Breakfasts of local fruits like mangosteen and rambutan, plus homemade bread and Indonesia’s strong Toraja coffee, are served on porches, while a picnic lunch ($15 a person) by the river may consist of grilled peppers, mushrooms and cauliflower in a chicken stew. Dinner ($25 a person) might consist of organic greens followed by local grilled fish.
For an excursion, the Hardys’ most recent undertaking, the just-opened Green School, is an eco-engineering feat worth visiting. Built of sustainable natural materials such as bamboo and alang-alang grass, the school is for students of preschool age through year eight.
Source: Unique Travel Destinations